Gossip column: Neymar, Guardiola, Ibrahimovic, Luiz, Wilshere, Ranieri, Wenger

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Brazil forward Neymar, 24, was close to joining Manchester United or Paris St-Germain in the summer but chose to stay at Barcelona on less money, says his agent. (Daily Mail)external-link

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he was always "clear and direct" with Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, 34, during their time together at Barcelona, despite the Swede claiming otherwise. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Guardiola is convinced he will be justified in having made Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, 25, his first summer buy at City after dropping interest in fellow midfielder Paul Pogba, 23, who joined Manchester United. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

Meanwhile, Guardiola and his Manchester United rival Jose Mourinho have ended their eight-year feud ahead of Saturday's first Manchester derby of the season by shaking hands at a meeting of Premier League managers. (Sun)external-link

Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror's back page on Saturday

Manchester United's hopes of signing Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci could be over, with the 29-year-old set to sign a new contract. (Manchester Evening News)external-link

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, 25, is set to sign a new deal with a £76m release clause, just weeks after Chelsea and Everton were linked with him. (Sport Mediaset, in Italian)external-link

Atletico Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Paris St-Germain were interested in Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, 24, before he signed a new four-year contract. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has warned his players that no-one, including striker Jamie Vardy, 29, and winger Riyad Mahrez, 25, is guaranteed a starting place. (Daily Express)external-link

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte believes 29-year-old centre-back David Luiz, a surprise summer signing from Paris St-Germain, can become one of the best defenders in the world. (Guardian)external-link

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has backed midfielder Jack Wilshere, 24, to be a future Gunners boss, despite loaning him to Bournemouth. (Daily Mirror)external-link

Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew has denied that he signed striker Jonathan Benteke, 21, just to keep big brother Christian happy and the pair could line up together against Middlesbrough on Saturday. (Sun)external-link

West Brom boss Tony Pulis says the five players chairman John Williams claimed he was "happy with" were not the "marquee players" he wanted to sign. (Times - subscription required)external-link

The prospect of a breakaway tournament of Europe's best clubs has only increased following Uefa's reforms of the Champions League, according to the head of Spain's La Liga. (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Daily Mail
The Daily Mail's back page on Saturday

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp wants the club's fans to mark the opening of Anfield's new main stand by bringing their "best performance" against Leicester City on Saturday. (Liverpool Echo)external-link

After helping Iceland knock England out at Euro 2016, Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 27, expects the country's footballers to get even better as "facilities and coaching have improved a lot". (Daily Telegraph)external-link

Everton have been told it will cost them in the region of £30m to acquire land for a new stadium on the banks of the River Mersey and an announcement could be made in a couple of months. (Guardian)external-link

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers claims that the Glasgow club are bigger than most Premier League clubs. (Daily Mail)external-link

Best of social media

Manchester United forward Memphis Depay is hoping to paint the city red on Saturday by winning the derby against Manchester City.

Memphis Depay on Twitter

Sheffield-born Tottenham and England full-back Kyle Walker showed his support for Sheffield boxer Kell Brook before his world title fight against Gennady Golovkin on Saturday.

Kyle Walker

And finally

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he will never regrow the ponytail for which he was known during his playing career. (London Evening Standard)external-link

Jose Mourinho helped develop a strong bond with his backroom staff by leaving his business class seat on the club's flight back from their pre-season tour to China and joining them in the economy section. (Metro)external-link

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